Advent 4.0

In my family, we don’t miss football games on Saturdays. Specifically, we don’t miss University of Georgia games, but generally speaking, games are on all day. What this means is that every Saturday in the fall is planned out. We know where we’re going to be watching the game, what time we’ll be there, what we’re eating, etc. Now why am I talking about football? Because it is humbling every year to think about how dedicated I am to preparing myself to watch football on Saturdays and not for what this season means to me as a believer, but rather the stressful/expensive/hurried worldliness of the season. 
I learned about Advent a handful of years ago.  I grew up Southern Baptist and at my particular church, we didn’t recognize the liturgical calendar or any of the “seasons” within it. I imagine it was a few years after being at Capstone that I became really big into podcasts and a few of the ones I was listening to all did episodes on Advent. Specifically, one of the episodes I listened to was a conversation with a Catholic and an Anglican (former Baptist) discussing the why’s and what’s of Advent. I was completely fascinated. I know from conversations with believers that have belonged to the more “liturgical” denominations how rigid it can start to feel. However, for that season in my life - I was enthralled with the structure of it all. 
Since that time, I’ve made it a point to participate in Advent studies. Typically our routine is to read each day’s devotion before we ask the blessing at dinner. Now do we finish them? If I’m being honest, no. Eventually the busyness of the holidays catch up to us, but I love the three themes of this season: the arrival of the actual birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, preparing our hearts for Jesus as believers, and the anticipation of the second-coming of Jesus. 
Growing up, we obviously already celebrated the first of those as the “reason for the season”. And we’re always taught to be prepared for the second-coming. But I love acknowledging all three together. It’s a beautiful reminder that Jesus is at the center - of the season, of us, and God’s creation. And now that I have a child, getting to teach him and lead by example is even more important for me that our family participates in Advent each year.
So tying this back to football, just as we have a plan for our Saturday football watching, I appreciate what Advent does in my life. It’s a season to prepare and realign my heart to the celebration of Jesus: who He was on Earth, is in my life presently, and who He is to come.

Katie Rice
Guest Blogger